Back in the grind: Stress without suicide

Hi there, busy bees.

If you’re like me…you don’t have time to make long blog posts, so let’s get to the point here.

I am smack dab in the middle of the semester—classes are going at full speed. I’ve been spending ALL my time in class, at meeting, volunteering, in the lab, and only occasionally relaxing. I had the absolute WORST day yesterday and the reason being is that I didn’t make ANY time for myself!! My schedule was completely filled—every second of every hour. It was just the worst.

So, how to be stressed without killing yourself in the process? DON’T go through a day like I did yesterday. I specifically wrote in my planner “Don’t ever schedule another day like today.” I didn’t even have time to write that in until this morning!! That being said, here are XX ways to have a stressful day without going overboard:

1. Wake up earlier than you have to

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Rise and shine! Pending that you went to bed early enough to do so, wake up an hour or two earlier than you have to so that you can start your day the way YOU want to. What you have a super busy day so you can’t eat that new cereal you bought at the store that you wanted to try? DO it! Wake up and having an hour or two for yourself—trust me, it will make your day go much smoother and you will be a such a better mood when you finally have to accomplish some of those tasks of the day.

2. Dress with confidence AND comfort in mind!

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The worst thing about having a super long day is wearing those itchy jeans or that shirt that you feel like you look like a hobo in. Then, in the middle of the day, you’re stuck in that outfit…feeling uncomfortable or sludgy, and it really just drags you down. Next time, put on something that address both of these problems. Something comfortable, yet stylish and makes you feel confident. This is a long day…you don’t get to crawl back to your apartment in the middle of the day to change because your potato sack looks gross and its itchy. Have some go-to outfits readily available for this purpose!!

3. Remember to schedule time to eat

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HA! Totally forgot to do this yesterday. I ended up having to skip out on one of my meetings, because lunchtime rolled around, passed, and Yin was STARVING! Please, please remember that nothing is more important than your health and nutrition. A girl’s gotta eat, no matter what impending tasks are upon her. Trust me, that meeting can be rescheduled for another time.

4. Schedule “YOU” time

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Remember, this is your life. A day without showing appreciation to yourself is a day wasted. Half an hour devoted to doing something that makes YOU happy is just what you need to avoid insanity. Sometimes it’s hard to go through a whole day, realizing that nothing that you’ve done is what you enjoy or really wanted to do. Combat that. Clock in an hour of “me” time!

5. Don’t be afraid to say “no”

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One of the hardest things for me. I am always saying “I can do it” or “I’ll do it!” with excitement and joy, without realizing that I simply do nothavethetime. At some point, volunteering your time for every little thing isn’t even helpful anymore, because with your physical and mental exhaustion…you won’t be of any use. I like to tell myself that if I can’t fully devote enough time to an event or task so that I can accomplish it to my absolute best, then I don’t have time for it. Remember, you are human, and you can only do so much!

6. Remind yourself that this is temporary and that everything will be okay!

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You know what? Your stressful day will end. This long and boring meeting will adjourn. This incredibly difficult class will be over. The exam will be over soon. And you’ll survive it! You wouldn’t believe how amazing our bodies are and what we, as humans, can endure. You’ll look back and remember how crazy the day, week, or semester was…but you will have grown and you will have survived it. Yay you!

7. Reflect

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Once you finally get home in bed, reflect on how everything went. Was it good? Bad? Was it too much? Too less? What could you have done to make it better? What helped you get through the day? What didn’t help at all? I think sometimes we have to realize what our breaking points are and learn strategies to persevere through them or change the situation so that we can live our lives comfortably, happy, and healthy.

 

Lately, I’ve been super busy. Although I am the type of person that likes to stay busy, yesterday was just a little too much for me.  I hope these tips can help you cope with any stressful times that come your way in the next little bit. Feel free to share any other thoughts about how to combat stress or just tell me about your day! Let me know if you try any of these tips and how they worked for you.

 

Thanks for reading,

Yin

So it’s been four months…

It’s been four entire months since I’ve made a post—sorry guys!

A lot of things were happening last semester, including a couple of grueling classes, a research lab, and a new chair position. I know excuses aren’t great, but this year I hope to chat a bit more on this little blog of mine.

Got a little bit of news for anyone who’s been trying to keep up with my life (good luck, because I can hardly keep up with myself).

Since my last post, I’ve volunteered quite a bit. I recently got back from a medical brigade in Honduras. Before that, I lead a service trip to Appalachia and I am currently planning another one to my hometown (SUPER excited about this—more about this later). Actually, more about everything later, because I’d like to share some resolutions with you all just because they’ve been on my mind. Here goes:

Incorporate more mindfulness in my life.

Mindfulness is a state of being in the moment. As the busy bee I am, sometimes it’s hard for me to take a step back from my actions to truly grasp their purpose. I think this is something that would be beneficial. Too often, I find myself going through the motions—I don’t think life should be that way.

Stop thinking about what others think about me.

This is a more difficult feat with my anxiety. I am constantly pushing thoughts in my head about what others may or may not think, and it contributes too much to my thinking. As a sophomore in college, I have a lot of decisions coming my way. Most importantly, Who am I? and Who do I want to be? A lot of these questions are questions that should be solely mine to answer.

Communicate.

Being as socially anxious as I am, I find it hard to open up to others. I find it especially hard to speak up when I am in need. In class, it makes it hard to make connections with others, which is incredibly important. A funny story: I sat in the same spot every single day for my Organic Chemistry lecture of around 400 students. This random guy always sat next to me—I suppose we were both lone wolves in the class. Knowing no one else, we stuck together in a weird, non-talkative kind of way. We went through 75% of the semester without speaking, until I finally got the guts to introduce myself. Now, we are great friends, and he helped me tremendously during finals! This makes me wonder about all the other friendships I’ve missed out on.

Relax.

I realize that I’m always the person on edge, waiting for the next thing and worrying about things that aren’t even problems yet. I hardly ever utilize my downtime in a positive way. One of the best things I did during finals week was chill out before the exam. I was freaking out. Before the exam, I was not in a great mental state, honestly. I stressed WAY too much, and my body told me to relax.

I had two of my most difficult exams on the same day, twelve hours apart (God help me, one at 8AM and one at 8:30PM). Not sure what kind of sick joke college was trying to play on me, but it wasn’t fun. After gluing my eyes to my book the night before and after my 8AM, I was not mentally there any more. And no, I didn’t cram study—I studied for two weeks straight. I just needed to relax. I stepped away from the book about two hours from my exam. If I didn’t know the material by then, it didn’t matter. My brain could not physically soak anything more up. Instead, I took a hot bubble bath and put on a face mask. I almost felt guilty, but in all honest it was the Best. Decision. Ever. I walked into my exam with full confidence and survived—who would’ve thought?

Settle.

While this may seem odd to have as a goal, I think sometime settling is important. Actually, let’s call it something else: be grateful. Does that sound better?

I have this problem (actually, I think many do in this society), where nothing seems good enough. I don’t have enough this…I don’t have enough that…In reality, I have what I need. I have enough to survive. I have food in my fridge, and love surrounding me. For some reason, I keep striving for so much, that I’m destroying myself in the end. Instead of “Is this good enough?,” I’d rather ask myself, “Am I happy? Am I in an okay spot?”

Of course, I’m not saying to never strive for anything more. I’m just saying, I will never be happy if I keep looking at what I want instead of what I have. When I think about who I am and who I want to be, I realize I put ridiculous goals on myself. No doubt in my mind that I could do these things if I really wanted to…but maybe it’s not what I really want. I don’t need to be rich and famous. I’d rather simply be happy. I think I need to settle for happiness—seems like enough for me!

 

So there’s that. My midnight thoughts about resolutions for the new year that I posted 19 days too late. I hope you enjoy reading my posts, however delayed and spontaneous they are. What are some of your resolutions? Feel free to share. Hopefully, I will chat with you more soon 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Yin